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How have other NFL teams finished after starting 10-0?

The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin takes a look at the Patriots win over the Bills.
The Boston Globe's Ben Volin takes a look at the Patriots win over the Bills.

With their Monday night victory over the Buffalo Bills, the Patriots became the 16th team since the NFL merger of 1970 to open the season with 10 straight wins. Like the 10-0 Panthers, the Patriots’ fate remains unknown.

That being the case, it’s worth asking how the first 14 performed.

The group averaged a 14-2 regular season record. None finished with more than three losses — probably no surprise, given that a team would need to go a mere 3-3 over the duration of its schedule to reach 13 wins.

For teams that showed that sort of dominance through 10 games, success typically carried over to the playoffs. Nine of the 14 teams (64 percent) played in the Super Bowl, with six emerging as league champions (43 percent).


One team — the 1990 49ers — lost in the NFC conference championship game to a Giants team that opened the year with a 10-0 record on the way to a Super Bowl. Just four of the 14 teams (29 percent) failed to win a single playoff game.

Perfect through 10 on the road to . . .?
The Patriots are the 16th team since the AFL-NFL merger to start a season 10-0.
Team Year Reg season record Playoffs
New England Patriots 2015 TBD TBD
Carolina Panthers 2015 TBD TBD
Green Bay Packers 2011 15-1 Division Round
New Orleans Saints 2009 13-3 Won Super Bowl
Indianapolis Colts 2009 14-2 Lost Super Bowl
Tennessee Titans 2008 13-3 Division Round
New England Patriots 2007 16-0 Lost Super Bowl
Indianapolis Colts 2005 14-2 Division Round
Denver Broncos 1998 14-2 Won Super Bowl
Washington Redskins 1991 14-2 Won Super Bowl
San Francisco 49ers 1990 14-2 Conference Championship
New York Giants 1990 13-3 Won Super Bowl
Chicago Bears 1985 15-1 Won Super Bowl
Miami Dolphins 1984 14-2 Lost Super Bowl
Minnesota Vikings 1975 12-2 Division Round
Miami Dolphins 1972 14-0 Won Super Bowl

Follow Alex Speier on Twitter @alexspeier.